Sunday, 10 February 2013

Undeadly (The Reaper Diaries, #1) by Michele Vail

Undeadly (The Reaper Diaries, #1)
Blurb (from Goodreads):
The day I turned 16, my boyfriend-to-be died. I brought him back to life. Then things got a little weird...

Molly Bartolucci wants to blend in, date hottie Rick and keep her zombie-raising abilities on the down-low. Then the god Anubis chooses her to become a reaper—and she accidentally undoes the work of another reaper, Rath. Within days, she's shipped off to the Nekyia Academy, an elite boarding school that trains the best necromancers in the world. And her personal reaping tutor? Rath.

Life at Nekyia has its plusses. Molly has her own personal ghoul, for one. Rick follows her there out of the blue, for another...except, there's something a little off about him. When students at the academy start to die and Rath disappears, Molly starts to wonder if anything is as it seems. Only one thing is certain—-Molly's got an undeadly knack for finding trouble...

Undeadly by Michele Vail

My rating: 6.5 out of 10 stars

Undeadly (The Reaper Diaries, #1)(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Harlequin TEEN and Netgalley.)
16-year-old Molly is a necromancer. She brings dead people back to life by turning them into zombies! The zombie’s owner must then care for them. They can do menial jobs, but they are stupid, and you must keep them well-fed with Ghoul-aid, or they will eat you.

At Molly’s 16th birthday party, a strange man turns up who only she can see. He gives her some cryptic clues about who and what she is, and then Molly’s very new boyfriend Rick suddenly collapses and dies. Seeing a glowing ball of light, Molly grabs it, and manages to stick half of it back inside Rick. He then wakes up, and everything is okay (yeah right).

Molly is in for a shock though, when her maternal grandparents turn up, tell her that her future is to be a reaper, and ship her off to a boarding school for Necromancers.
What is Molly’s real destiny though? What problems is she about to encounter in her new school? And why the hell has Rick followed her there?

Let’s just start by saying that I was warned about this book! I’ve read several reviews where people haven’t liked it, but I had a review copy – so I read it.

This book starts with an entry from Molly’s reaper diary, and it is exactly what everybody said that it was – a massive info dump. Lots of blah, blah, blah about reapers and gods and all kinds of crap. To be honest I can’t tell you what any of it really was, because it turned me into a zombie just reading it. This really was like reading an encyclopaedia – ridiculously dull, and mind-numbingly boring, and unfortunately we were treated to another 2 or 3 of these entries later on in the book, which I have to say, I just skipped. I just couldn’t drag myself through them.

Once we get to the real story this is better thankfully, although Molly is pretty immature, and seemingly giddy over this boy Rick. When Rick suddenly dies on her, she grabs part of his soul and squishes it back into his body. I mean what the hell was she thinking?

Then we get the requisite ‘your father isn’t your biological father’, which seems to pop up in every other book at the moment, and Molly goes off to this reaper school. Once Molly is at the new school, the book improves considerably – although admittedly this is 50% of the way through.

The story actually seems to get a bit better here though, there are fewer info-dumps, and stuff actually happens. How the hell Molly doesn’t find it odd that Rick turns up is beyond me though. Who thinks that the boy they’ve kissed like once, is going to fly miles away to visit them at their new school? Weird, and dense.
Plus, (Spoiler highlight to read- How the hell didn’t Molly guess that Rick was the one killing people? Again – Dense. And, what the hell was the ‘I am your father’ business at the end? Talk about done before. ) - highlight to[ How the hell didn’t Molly guess that Rick was the one killing people? Again – Dense. And, what the hell was the ‘I am your father’ business at the end? Talk about done before. (hide spoiler)]

There was a bit of excitement at the end, and unfortunately the book does end on a bit of a cliff-hanger (thanks for that). I did think that the book was a bit better by the end though, and the writing style kind-of reminded me a bit of the ‘House of Night’ series.

Overall; This book had some massive flaws, but the second half wasn’t too bad. I’d suggest that this is maybe targeted at a younger age group though – maybe 12-year-olds?
6.5 out of 10.



  1. Hmm this doesn't sound like the book for me. That's unfortunate that there was an info dump at the beginning and you're so right, there is a trend of the whole 'I'm not your real father' going on. I hate it when characters don't notice the obvious, it's like come on already! Thanks for the awesome and honest review! :)

    1. The obviousness of some of the stuff in this book was a bit ridiculous. I seemed to like it more than other people though, I've read loads of 1 and 2 star reviews for this book!

  2. I am happy you enjoyed the second half. It did have more going on and less info-dumps but I don't want to wait half the book to get to the action. And yeah, I didn't like the writing style.

    1. I know what you mean, I'm hoping the second book is an improvement.

  3. I think I'm going to skip this book. I don't have time to read something when it feels like you're reading an encyclopedia. I have enough studying without reading a book that feels like that. And you say the writing style reminend you of House of Night series (which I don't like) so, yeah, I think I'm going to skip this one. Thanks for the honest review.

    Anatea @ Anatea's Bookshelf

    1. Yeah, if you're short of time I wouldn't recommend this. There are much better books to be read first!

  4. I really am on the fence as to whether or not I want to read one, especially now...

    1. I think if I was you I'd wait for the second to come out. If the second is spectacular then it might be worth reading the first. If the second is as bad as the first, then probably not worth it.

  5. The girl on the cover looks like Jennifer Lopez, or maybe it's just my mind playing tricks on me! Anyways I loved the book blurb but like you I haven't read any good reviews on it. Your reviews are always informative and honest so I am thinking I will pass this one. I did laugh when I read your part about the "info dump...blah, blah, blah" Thanks for the review!

    1. I thought that the first time I looked at it too!